Pandemics are socially threatening situations that rapidly spread across large regions. Thinking of contracting dangerous diseases can potentially evoke fear and death-related thoughts. The aim of the present work was to investigate how individuals respond to fear associated with contracting a pandemic disease (i.e., swine flu). In accordance with the mortality salience hypothesis of terror management theory (Greenberg, Pyszczynski, & Solomon, 1986), we predicted that individuals concerned with contracting swine flu would demonstrate greater investment in cultural worldviews (i.e., patriotism) in response to death anxiety. The implications of these findings for understanding global issues in domains related to health and politics are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology